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Le 06 juin 2011


All week the press have been having a field day, Montpellier the outsiders, Montpellier lucky to be there, Montpellier could loose by 30/40 points, well Gentlemen the press, you may start eating your hats.
For 80 minutes Montpellier showed to the rugby world why they were in the Final, not because they were lucky not because of this, or that, they were in the Final because they deserved to be!!! Never over awed by this grand occasion, Montpellier held fast in defence for all the match, although ahead on points they were continually on the back foot, holding back the onslaught that the mighty Toulouse create on these prestigious occasions.
Difficult to play the rugby that has been so exciting all season, as Toulouse also a great team and every possible chance they had they shut down Montpellier’s attack with bone shuddering tackles, Toulouse have already been Champions 17 times a certain experience that cannot be neglected.
The final like many before was not a grand affair of fast running rugby but it had its moments, a Timmy Nagusa try of pure brilliance, made in Fiji and executed in Paris an individual moment of pure bliss which have Montpellier a 7-0 lead after only 25 mins.
There were other moments, a scrum for Toulouse just 5 metres from the Montpellier try line, and the Montpellier response, they shoved Toulouse off the ball and earned the penalty, nobody does that to Toulouse!!! The efforts of Mamuka Gorgodze he tackled every thing in sight, with or without the ball, immense this giant does not understand 100% he always gives more, of course there were others, Captain Fu Fu Ouedraogo, handicapped with a broken hand, did he think about anything other than his Club, his team mates and his devotion, no he led from the front and showed why he will be on that plane to New Zealand for the forth coming World Cup. 
Montpellier played their hearts out, but it was not to be, denied by the machine they call Toulouse, the well oiled, well prepared machine that only flutters rarely but never falters, it did take them till the 71st minute before they got their noses in front with a Bezy penalty and a final penalty minutes from the end to bring that ultimate and coveted prize to the City of Roses, maybe Montpellier lacked a little steam in the last 10 mins and a 2nd yellow card did them no fortunes, harsh as it was!!! 
Montpellier held fast and gave all they had and came very close and if Toulouse were honest they got the scare of their lives, but sometimes the Prince is only a Prince and does not become King, well not till next year!!! Final result Montpellier 10 Toulouse 15.
Courage and Pride Montpellier already had, but “RESPECT” has to be earned, Saturday evening in the Stade de France Montpellier gained that “RESPECT” from all, whether they were in the Stadium or watching on the television, the rugby world now knows where Montpellier is situated.. After the semi final win against Racing Metro, Francois Trinh-Duc described the changing room scenes after match, as a bunch of Cadets enjoying themselves today in the Stade de France those Cadets became MEN !!!
BRAVO MONTPELLIER, victory is sweet but lasts only a year, Joie de Vivre et Camaraderie is just as important if not more, and that lasts a life time. 
Steve Whittell.